HARRISBURG – Working to reduce property taxes has been a decades-long struggle in the Legislature and this week, Rep. Rich Irvin (R-Huntingdon/Centre/Mifflin) had the pleasure of casting a vote in favor of legislation that is designed to reduce school property taxes by 40 percent to 60 percent for Pennsylvania homeowners when combined with additional reductions offered through gaming and homestead exclusions.
House Bill 504
, which passed the House on Wednesday, would put in place a plan that would raise the state income tax and sales tax in order to offer $5 billion in reductions on property taxes. Under the plan, the Personal Income Tax (PIT) would increase from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent and the Sales and Use Tax (SUT) would increase from 6 percent to 7 percent. The additional PIT funds would be used to drive down school district millage rates immediately. The additional SUT funds would directly go to homeowners through homestead and farmstead exclusions.
“This would ultimately be a tax shift that would create a fairer system of paying taxes by having those individuals who earn more income and buy more goods and services pay more in taxes,” said Irvin. “Senior citizens and low-income individuals would typically pay less in taxes.”
Irvin said it is important to note that unlike the governor’s property tax plan, House Bill 504 would not expand the state sales tax to cover additional goods and services, and it would not send the money back to Harrisburg with only a portion earmarked for property tax reductions. Instead, this legislation would ensure every additional dollar collected through tax increases goes to back to taxpayers in the form of property tax reductions, and it also would put measures in place to deter future school property tax increases.
“The No. 1 issue I heard about from residents when I was running for office was the need for property tax reform,” said Irvin. “I am pleased that the majority of my colleagues also recognize the need for reform and have worked hard to get something significant accomplished within the first six months of the legislative session. It is now in the hands of the state Senate.”
House Bill 504 passed the House by a vote of 105-86.
Representative Rich Irvin
81st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman